Asked in Cyclone Tracy
Cyclone Tracy

How did Darwin change and recover after Cyclone Tracy?



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It was completely destroyed, and it had to be rebuilt. A link is provided for more detailed information. People had to leave the city, and some people never returned to Darwin, but stayed in other cities. When Darwin had to rebuild from scratch, it started off with far fewer people living there. The city was then rebuilt according to new building codes, and it is now regarded as a modern multicultural city of around 100,000 people. The new building codes also spread to other cyclone-prone areas of Australia. A significant development which came from the cyclone was that of the Northern Territory's self-government. Until 1974, the Northern Territory had minimal self-government, with a federal minister being responsible for the Territory from Canberra. However, the cyclone and subsequent response highlighted problems with this arrangement that led directly to the decision of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to grant the Territory self-government in 1978. The TC Tracy devastation and loss of life also resulted in improvements to the Australian Cyclone Warning system.